Introduction — What Every Small Business Owner Needs to Know About Trademarks



Hello! This is Andrei Mincov with The Trademark Factory.

Brands have power over our minds. This is how we buy products and services—through our familiarity with brands. Just think about the food, beer, cars, phones, and clothes that you buy. Think about the services you use: taxis, internet providers, tax return filers, cell phone operators, realtors, and restaurants.

If brands have so much power over the minds of your customers and prospects, wouldn’t you want to make sure that you can protect this competitive advantage? Wouldn’t you want to make sure that this power stays with you rather than benefit someone else?

This is precisely what trademarks are for.

You are watching the first in a series of videos on what every small business owner should know about trademarks.

Small businesses make three common mistakes when it comes to registering trademarks:

- they don’t register trademarks that need to be registered;

- they spend too much money registering worthless trademarks; and

- they waste too much time filing trademark applications that have no chance of being approved by Canadian Intellectual Property Office.

Small business owners make these three mistakes because they don’t know what they don’t know and because they are afraid to ask a lawyer due to less than stellar reputation of the legal profession.

My mission is to contribute to eradication of both these reasons that stand between small businesses and effective brand management.

So why listen to me?

Let me tell you my story

I have been an intellectual property lawyer for almost 20 years now.

Often when I introduce myself and say that I am an intellectual property lawyer, I hear a question, “So what exactly is it that you do?”. My answer is, “I minimize the risk of you waking up one day to realize that someone stole your brand, your ideas, or whatever intellectual property you use in your business to gain and keep your competitive advantage. And I also make sure that if you do find yourself in this predicament, then the bad guy who stole your intellectual property finds himself in a lot of pain.”

I started my career as an IP lawyer when my father, a famous Russian composer heard his music on the radio advertising Samsung. The problem with that was that nobody asked his permission to do it. So he called the radio station and they told him to sit down, shut up and be happy they are making him even more famous. Believe it or not, he didn’t like it very much. Instead, he asked me to help him take this matter to court. At that time, I was in my 2nd year of my first law school and I had literally no idea about copyright, civil procedure or what to do in a courtroom. So I said – “sure, let’s do it”. Long story short, after several years of litigation that went all the way up to one instance short of the Supreme Court of Russia, we won. And in the process I became an expert in copyright and very passionate about protecting intellectual property.

My dad was my first and favourite client. But I did not only work with him. I provided legal services to such dream-clients as Microsoft, Apple, Sony, Dreamworks, J.K. Rowling, and many many others, some of which I cannot name for confidentiality reasons.

In 2007 I came to Canada, went through my second law school, got my lawyer license, got my trademark agent license, and started Mincov Law Corporation, a law firm for clients who value intellectual property as a tool for protecting ideas and creativity.

Probably one of the reasons I love doing what I do so much is that I have the privilege of dealing with brilliant people—all the time: my clients create what millions of people around the world want to use, listen to, play, watch, or steal. I admire my clients’ accomplishments and because of that every time I come up with an outside-the-box creative solution to help them, I feel great. This is why I do what I do and this is why I love doing it!

In 2013, I launched the service called the Trademark Factory, which is revolutionizing the way businesses register their trademarks. Don’t worry, I will let you know about the Trademark Factory and our unique Triple Peace-of-Mind guarantee further down the road.

In 2014, I published my new book (and the first book I wrote in English). It’s called The Ultimate Insider’s Guide to Intellectual Property – When to See an IP lawyer and ask educated questions about copyright, trademarks, patents, trade secrets, industrial designs, contracts, and other ways of protecting your ideas and covering your assets. You can find out more about the book at And obviously, the book will contain more details and more interesting stuff about intellectual property and trademarks in particular

So now that you know a little bit about me,

Here’s what you’ll learn in this series of videos:

- What are trademarks and why do we need them?

- The difference between Trademarks vs. trade names.

- The difference between Trademarks vs. products or services themselves.

- you will also learn that Trademarks do not give an absolute monopoly over the brand.

- The difference between Registered vs. unregistered trademarks (® vs. ™ )

- 7 benefits of trademark registration

- You will learn 3 indicators that will tell you whether or not you should register your trademarks

- You will understand the trademark registration process.

- In the end I will share with you several Tips & Tricks to make your brand strategy effective.

So in the next video you will learn what trademarks are and why we need them. And for now, if you have any questions, go to our website at, send us an email or call us. If you are looking for more detailed information about copyright, trademarks, patents, trade secrets, industrial designs, contracts, and other ways of protecting your ideas and covering your assets—make sure you read my book – The Ultimate Insider’s Guide to Intellectual Property.

Watch our other FAQs or leave your comments below!

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Watch our other FAQs:

What Are Trademarks and Why Do We Need Them?
Trademarks vs. Trade Names
What Cannot Be Protected as a Trademark
Trademarks Don't Give Absolute Monopoly Over Words and Images
Registered ® vs. Unregistered ™ Trademarks
7 Benefits of Trademark Registration
When Should You Register Your Trademarks
What is the Trademark Registration Process
Trademark Tips & Tricks